The much-loved singer and “legend” Margarita Pracatan has died aged 89.
The news was shared on Twitter by close friends of the Cuban star today.
She died on Tuesday in New York with the cause of death yet to be revealed, reports The Mirror.
The singer was best known for her exuberant and eccentric appearances on The Clive James Show and she became a cult figure and fan favourite with UK audiences.
The popular presenter James discovered her cable TV programme in America in 1994 and invited her to the UK for a slot on his hit ITV show.
James once said of her music: “She never lets the words or melody get in her way. She is us, without the fear of failure.”
She has died just eight months after the Australian broadcaster lost his life to illness.
In 2019 she appeared in an episode of Real Housewives of New York City to perform a cover of Money Can’t Buy You Class.
On June 13, less than two weeks before she died, she shared a video of herself singing to her Twitter account.
She looked healthy and happy as she sang popular Mexican song Cielito Lindo.
Margarita captioned the video: “Canta y no llores – be happy!
“Why? It’s good for your heart and your espirit!!”
She added the hashtags #joy #loveyourlife #EnjoyingEverydayLife.
BBC radio host Matthew Sweet tweeted the news alongside a picture of Margarita today.
He wrote: “Sorry to hear of the death of Margarita Pracatan, social media star before social media.
“We got her live on @BBCRadio3 once, to the faint annoyance of Clive James.
“In 2017 I saw her live in Catford & was delighted to discover she still considered the right notes unnecessary.”
Fans of Margarita took to Twitter in their droves to pay tribute.
“RIP Margarita. A legend! We had such a fabulous evening at her cabaret show a few years ago!” wrote @danielknight75.
“Gutted to hear about the passing of the glorious @ PracatanBaby who I had the pleasure of looking after at @ ManchesterPride 2013, she lived a life full of fun, joy, celebration & love,” posted NikCotter_
And summing up how many others felt, billie_r_martin tweeted “Joy has left the building. I’m in pieces.”